The Couple Behind Indelust Talk About Their Journey
Years ago, he walked into her Bengaluru store, Maison, and fell so in love with what he saw, he asked a family friend to put him in touch with its founder. And that’s how Nihar Sait and Sana Rezwan Sait’s story began. The couple had a fairy-tale wedding in 2013 at an old estate in the English countryside and, soon after, began their design venture — bringing them closer at home and at work ever since.
While she’s worked with Stella McCartney, Jasmine Di Milo, Giorgio Armani, and Liberty of London, he also leads an advisory practice in New York and has been affiliated with Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns in the past. Bringing their experience and talent together, Nihar and Sana founded the fashion brand Indelust. Started in early 2014, it aims to promote sustainable design through the labels they house at the store. “We both wanted to make a difference, and with Nihar’s experience in philanthropy and impact investing and mine in fashion and retail, it only made sense for us to launch Indelust. Our goal is to source ethically, nurture emerging designers, revive traditional craft in a non-conventional way and offer a curated marketplace for all things made in the Indian Subcontinent,” explains Sana.
While Nihar, as the the Chief Financial Officer, handles legal matters and finances for their company, creative director Sana is in charge of the “cool stuff” (as she describes it) that includes marketing strategy, sourcing, and management of the digital platform as well as Indelust’s stand-alone store in Bengaluru. “We respect each other’s roles and responsibilities. I know for a fact I cannot do the things that Nihar does. When it comes to after-office hours, we try to set boundaries so that our work and personal life don’t blend into one another. I think we’ve managed to find a great balance,” maintains Sana. What about when there are conflicts in decision-making? “For the most part, I think we do a good job of keeping work-related issues separate from the rest of our lives. Also, we each bring a different set of skills to the table, so when there is a disagreement, we ultimately defer to the other person’s judgement if it’s in their area of expertise,” Nihar says.
The duo is based out of New York, though Sana occasionally shuttles between the Big Apple and her hometown of Bengaluru. With the time and distance factored in, they do have to make an extra effort at work. While her day sometimes starts as early as 5.30 a.m., Nihar comes online soon after, and also handles any issue that comes up at night, India time.
But the Saits make sure they take out enough time to unwind, taking home as little work as possible. “We love hosting dinner parties, cooking, and hanging out with our friends. We enjoy trying out new restaurants or hitting the city’s comedy clubs or live music venues. Sometimes we go to talks hosted by Nihar’s schools — University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins,” says Sana. Adds her better half, “Working out is meditation for me. New York City is a pretty amazing place to go get lost somewhere when work gets too overbearing.”
Ask about what drew them to one another, and they instantly pipe in with their most-loved qualities in the other — “Nihar’s intellect and good looks, of course!” blushes Sana, while her husband says it was “her spirit, pure heart and intelligence”. Both believe that trust, honesty and reliability are integral to working with your partner and agree that they make a great team. For now, the USA-based couple is looking to expand the scope of their products they source from artisans, and to redouble their digital marketing efforts. And what pearls of wisdom would they share with other spouses who work together? Signs off Nihar, “Focus on your core strengths and hone complimentary skill sets. Have a defined schedule so you know when it’s time to turn off. Respect and patience are two virtues you’d better have in abundance; otherwise the work/marriage model will come under serious pressure.”
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